LeBron James speaks out over Jacob Blake shooting: ‘We are scared as Black people in America’

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NBA star LeBron James is speaking out about the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, saying Black people in the United States are “terrified.”

“It’s just quite frankly f—ed up in our community,” James, who has been outspoken about racial injustice and police brutality, said during a news conference following the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff win over the Portland Trail Blazers late Monday. “I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”

Cellphone footage from Sunday captured at least seven shots being fired as Kenosha Police Department officers trailed Blake as he attempted to enter his vehicle. Blake’s three children were in the car at the time of the shooting, his attorney said. Blake was transferred to a hospital in Milwaukee, where he remains in serious condition. 

Clips of the incident spread rapidly across social media and prompted renewed protests in the southeastern Wisconsin city amid a summer of demonstrations against police brutality. State and federal officials, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign, called for a full investigation that holds the officers involved accountable. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is currently investigating. 

Speaking a day after the incident, James expressed frustration over the officer’s use of a firearm, saying officers could have tackled or grabbed Blake. 

“If you’re sitting here and telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him, before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and you’re not only lying to me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community, because we see it over and over,” James said. 

“Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?” he asked. “His family is there, his kids are there, it’s in broad daylight.”

James has repeatedly decried police violence and other racial justice issues during his NBA career. He and his Miami Heat teammates posed for a photo in 2012 wearing hooded sweatshirts to speak out over the death of Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager who was killed by a volunteer crime-watcher. 

In recent months, James has been vocal about the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He and several NBA teams resumed the season in July by kneeling for the national anthem and wearing “Black Lives Matter” warm-up shirts. James and other Lakers also have also wore hats co-opting President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to call for the arrest of the officers who fatally shot Taylor.

James helped create the group More Than a Vote earlier this summer, which he said is designed to motivate Black people to use their voice and cast their ballots this year. 

“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” James told The New York Times at the time. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”

Tags Donald Trump Jacob Blake Joe Biden kenosha Lebron James police brutality police shooting Wisconsin

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